I had a timely lunch today at 1 Infinite Loop today in Cupertino. A friend of mine is leaving Apple Friday for a well-funded stealth mobile startup and we were celebrating his departure and the experience he’s about to have as he leaves corporate America. On the walls near the cafeteria were several murals left over from the Jobs memorial a few months ago. This quote was particularly relevant:
If you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.
Good advice for my friend and for Apple. Today and this month could not have been better for Apple. Fiscal Q1 results were at record highs 3-weeks ago, stock closed above $500 for the first time today, and more iPad 3 announcement details leaked setting up the massive March 7 unveiling (sorry Jason). And yet as I walked around Apple campus, I couldn’t help but notice how no one seemed to care. Oh except the blogosphere. They always care.Literally – no one cared. No parties, nothing on the walls or bulletin boards (I looked). No emails went out (I checked). It seemed no different today then any other day I have been there. People were moving quickly, working on their phones, or hurrying through lunch to get back to their desks.
We often think that once we get to the top of the professional mountain we’ll relax or go to a beach for a while. While some do, the great ones like those at Apple just keep calm and carry on. Heads down they get back to work and set higher goals. They push harder. Anytime a startup announces funding everyone not in the company seems to tweet, blog and talk about it constantly, while inside the walls of that company people are cranking ever harder knowing at any moment it could all end. That’s the same drive that kept Michael Jordan or Lance Armstrong on top for so long.
I don’t like to talk about things I’m not qualified to opine on, so if you want an opinion on Apple’s future and company outlook you should read someone that really understands them. But my take on Apple right now is that they’re calm and carrying on, and as a market leader their is no better perspective to have.